Education Technology Training

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According to the National Education Association's Web site (www.nea.org/technology): "There is widespread agreement among parents and educators that technology must be an integral part of the educational experience in order for today's students to fully succeed in the 21st century. With this broad support and understanding, progress has been made in recent years, yet efforts to bring the full power of technology to America's classrooms are just scratching the surface." While it's clear that we've made some real strides, we still have far to go in this exciting endeavor - with the possibilities being limitless. This month's column focuses on education technology training, which refers to understanding the concepts of technological processes and applying them to teaching and learning.

Considerations

Obviously, your operating budget may be one of the biggest considerations regarding any staff development offerings. The following are a few other important things to consider when planning technology training for your educators:

  1. Understand the technology competencies of your staff, as well as what grade and area they teach.
  2. Gather input regarding potential training topics, and try to offer training that helps staff members reach their goals, is in line with their current teaching needs and inspires them to take additional training.
  3. Take stock of your current and future technologies.
  4. Maintain a running record of what hardware and software you use, or intend to use, and make all of your staff aware of what technology tools are available to them. Refer to this record when planning potential training offerings.
  5. Use education technology standards and your technology plan as a guide.
  6. Always set specific short- and long-term staff goals, document progress and encourage individual achievement by providing proper and diverse resource materials.
  7. Nuts-and-bolts training vs. curricular adaptation.
  8. Be clear about the intensity of training provided. Is the goal to have staff gain a familiarity with computer use in general? Or, is the goal to use and integrate a familiar technology into the curriculum?

Education Technology Resources:

  • U.S. Education Department's Office of Educational Technology

  • www.ed.gov/Technology
    This government Web site develops national education technology policies, and implements these policies through department-wide education technology programs.

  • ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology

  • www.ericit.org
    Search more than 1,400 of the latest research reports, conference papers, opinion papers and other ERIC documents related to education technology on this site.

  • NetDay

  • www.netday.org
    This nonprofit organization provides community-based projects in underserved communities and strategic Web initiatives that help educators meet their goals through the effective use of technology.

  • International Society for Technology in Education

  • www.iste.org
    ISTE promotes the appropriate uses of IT to support and improve learning, teaching and administration in K-12 and teacher education.

  • North Central Regional Educational Laboratory's "21st Century Skills"

  • www.ncrel.org/engauge/skills/skills.htm
    This nonprofit organization offers research-based discussions of skills needed in the emerging Digital Age.

Judith B. Rajala, M.A., president and founder of EduHound.com, is an independent education technology instructor and former K-12 educator. Visit EduHound online at www.eduhound.com or e-mail EduHoundExtra@thejournal.com.

This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.

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